Serial No. 106-17: Anthrax Immunization Program: Hearing before the Subcommittee on National Security, Veterans Affairs, and International Relations of the Committee on Government Reform, House of Representatives, One Hundred Sixth Congress, First Session, March 24, 1999   [open pdf - 3MB]

From the opening Statement of Chairman Christopher Shays: "This morning we begin the subcommittee's oversight of the Department of Defense, DoD force-wide Anthrax Vaccine Immunization Program [AVIP]. We begin with questions. Why now? Why this vaccine? Why a mandatory program? And why would active duty, reserve and National Guard personnel jeopardize their military careers and even their liberty rather than take the vaccine? After what has been described as a multi-year and deliberative, but for the most part, closed process, DoD launched the AVIP in 1997, but anthrax was a known threat in the 1991 Gulf war. Vaccine development and acquisition against biological threats have been an explicit element of U.S. force protection policy since 1993. Yet only now has anthrax been deemed the preeminent threat requiring this additional medical force protection measure unique to that single organism. If, as has been argued, it would be irresponsible, even immoral, not to use the available vaccine, what took so long? To meet tomorrow's very real threat of biological weapons, cocktails and genetically altered anthrax strains, DoD selected the vaccine approved by the Food and Drug Administration [FDA], almost 30 years ago. It has been described as crude and dated medical technology. The sole production plan is under renovation to address serious failures to follow good manufacturing practices which, in turn, can affect vaccine purity, potency and safety. Is that the best we can do? The missing element of the mandatory anthrax vaccine program is trust." Statements, letters, and material submitted for the record include those of the following: Sue Bailey, Ronald R. Blanck, Todd Fisher, Charles H. Roadman II, Thomas L. Rempfer, Russell E. Dingle, Stephen M. Lundbom, Mark S. Zaid, Redmond Handy, Lorene K. Greenleaf, Rod R. Blagojevich, and Christopher Shays.

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Serial No. 106-17
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